December 6, 2021

Volume XI, Number 340


December 03, 2021

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COVID-19: United States Lifts Certain Travel Restrictions Effective 8 November 2021

On 15 October 2021, the Biden Administration announced that the United States would lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States beginning 8 November 2021. These restrictions have largely prevented foreign nationals from entering the United States for the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the United States plans to lift the travel bans currently in place for travelers entering the United States from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Limited exceptions to the requirement that foreign nationals entering the United States be fully vaccinated are expected for unvaccinated children, COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants, and those traveling for an important reason who lack access to vaccination in a timely manner.

As of 15 October 2021, neither the U.S. Department of State nor the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued official guidelines or protocols concerning the updated international travel requirements. However, the CDC announced that “for purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.” Notwithstanding the vaccination requirement, international travelers into the United States likely will be expected to comply with existing COVID-19 testing requirements before entry into the United States.


  • Businesses should work with counsel to assess the impact on their foreign workforce mobility.

  • Businesses should expect an increase in employee requests or questions concerning international travel.

  • International travelers (including U.S. Citizens) should be prepared to comply with updated testing requirements (in addition to the new vaccination requirements) for entry into the United States. 

Copyright 2021 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 288

About this Author

 Rio J. Gonzalez Labor, Employment and Workplace Safety Attorney K & L Gates

Rio Gonzalez is an associate in the Miami office of K&L Gates and is a member of the labor, employment, and workplace safety practice group. His practice focuses on defending employers in the full spectrum of labor and employment matters, including employment discrimination, wage and hour violations, harassment claims, and wrongful discharge disputes before state and federal courts as well as before administrative agencies. Mr. Gonzalez provides solutions in day-to-day employment counseling, advises clients with respect to their employee handbooks and personnel policies to ensure...

Adriana Reyes Labor, Employment and Workplace Safety Attorney K & L Gates

Adriana Reyes is an associate in the Austin office where she is a member of the Labor, Employment and Workplace Safety practice group. She focuses her practice on advising companies and foreign nationals on corporate and investment-based immigration matters. Adriana’s background is on cross-border corporate matters, she has advised many investors on inbound and outbound transactions. Adriana is licensed in Texas and Mexico. She holds an LL.M. from The University of Texas School of Law and during her spare time, Adriana enjoys exploring the Austin trails.

Primary Practice

Brian Graham, KL Gates Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney

Brian Graham is a partner in the firm’s Austin office where he concentrates his practice in corporate and investment-based immigration law and is a member of the labor, employment and workplace safety practice group. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in obtaining visas, permanent residency, and citizenship for athletes, entertainers, executives, healthcare professionals, investors, religious workers, information technology workers, professors, and researchers. Mr. Graham regularly advises corporations on immigration compliance issues and developing long-...